The proposed cluster TA will comprise 4 sub-projects with each sub project including introduction of diagnostic approaches to development planning and conduct of country diagnostic studies in 3 to 4 DMCs. Selection of the DMCs will be in consultation with the DMC governments and the regional departments, and the studies will, ideally, be timed such that they will inform the formulation and implementation of the selected DMCs' medium-term development plans. The general criteria for selecting DMCs will be as follows: (i) relatively weak analytical and planning capacity, (ii) ability of the study to inform formulation and/or implementation of the DMC's medium-term development plan, (iii) DMC's keen interest in the study, and (iv) likelihood of the study to generate demonstration effect. Through consultations with the regional departments, Bangladesh, Fiji, Myanmar, Pakistan, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan have been identified for inclusion in the first two sub-projects.
First sub-project of the cluster TA will cover 4 DMCs and will comprise two main components, namely, (a) conduct of country diagnostic studies, and (b) capacity building and dissemination.
a. Country Diagnostic Studies
The sub-project will include conduct of 4 country studies to diagnose critical constraints to high and inclusive economic growth and structural transformation in the selected DMCs, and will utilize various diagnostic tools
including (i) growth diagnostic framework, (ii) diagnostic framework for constraints to reducing poverty and inequality, (iii) diagnostic framework for employment and labor markets, (iv) product space analysis, and (v) diagnostic framework for governance, institutions and political economy dimensions of development constraints.
Individual country diagnostic studies will be undertaken over a period of 9 to 12 months. The studies will be conducted in three steps: (i) review of development performance and patterns, (ii) conduct of an overarching diagnosis of constraints to high and inclusive economic growth, and (iii) conduct of in-depth diagnosis in the areas identified by the overarching diagnosis. The studies will follow an interactive process with 2 to 3 workshops to inform and consult with the key stakeholders on study approaches, findings and policy options. Studies will make use of and build on any relevant recent or ongoing studies or capacity building initiatives by the concerned governments, ADB, development partners and any other institutions.
b. Capacity Building and Dissemination
The component will focus on creating awareness of and capacities in diagnostic approaches within the planning agencies, government ministries, research institutions and non-government organizations. The component will include conduct of training and refresher training workshops, and in-country and regional dissemination workshops.
Training workshops will ideally be conducted in the initial stage of an individual study so as to enable the participating agencies and individuals to actively contribute to conduct of the studies. Training workshops spanning two to three days will cover the basics of various diagnostic frameworks, and will include use of lectures, case studies and group work. Refresher training workshops will be undertaken at the completion of overarching diagnosis and will provide training in sector or theme level diagnostics in addition to the refresher in conduct of overarching diagnostics.
In terms of dissemination, each of the diagnostic studies will include activities aimed at disseminating the diagnostic approaches and the study findings at the country level. The activities will include workshops as well as the use of print, broadcast and internet-based media. The workshops will aim to target all the key stakeholders, including representatives of the key government agencies, civil society, private sector, academic and research institutions, and the development partners.
Moreover, the sub-project will also organize a regional conference, which will target DMC officials and the key development partners. The workshop will provide a venue to showcase ADB's experiences with the diagnostic approaches and to learn from the experiences of other development partners.
In addition, the sub-project will also make use of the Country Diagnostics Studies website to help disseminate the information on diagnostic approaches, and findings and recommendations of the completed and ongoing country diagnostic studies. Moreover, the sub-project will also reproduce and disseminate existing publications on diagnostic approaches and completed country diagnostic studies.
Though the subsequent subprojects will also be structured along the lines of the components described above, it is envisaged that these will benefit from the lessons that will be learned through implementation of the first sub-project.